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Tenure searching

Land Tenure searching provides information about the ownership and the conditions land is held under.

The types of Land Tenure are

Freehold (fee simple)
  • Land Grant e.g. First Certificate of Title issued from Crown Land
  • Certificate of Title
  • NUA e.g. Not Under the (Real Property Act, 1886) Act
Crown Lease
  • Pastoral Leases
  • Perpetual Leases e.g. Ordinary Perpetual, Irrigation Perpetual, Closer Settlement Perpetual etc.
  • Non-Perpetual Leases e.g. Agreements to Purchase, Miscellaneous etc.
Public Road (Government Road) – not necessarily a formed road
Crown Land
  • Unalienated
  • Annual Licence
  • Reserve (created by Act of Parliament)

In South Australia you can search the history of a parcel of land and research family history through the Crown Lease and Certificate of Title register books. Some searches are free but others may attract a fee.

Historical information available includes:

  • name indexes for Real Property Act records from 1858 to 1975, which include names of crown lessees from the mid 1880's
  • Real Property Act records - e.g. certificates of title and transfers
  • survey plans
  • some crown leases
  • historical maps showing land tenure.
To conduct a search you will need:
  • the name of the property owner or crown lease
  • historical or pastoral name of the property - e.g. Mount Eba
  • the time period in which the property may have been bought
  • the property location - e.g. address, section number, hundred name.

How to conduct historical searching

You can access historical land information through the South Australian Integrated Land Information System (SAILIS).

Land Services staff will not conduct historical searching on your behalf.

Video tutorials have been created to provide a starting point for those wishing to undertake historical searching and you are encouraged to view these before starting your search.

Not all historical information is available online.  Records kept at Land Services are available to the public Monday to Friday 9.00 am to 5.00 pm. Other records are located at State Records.